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Art & Lies [Paperback]

Jeanette Winterson
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Book by Winterson, Jeanette

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Most helpful customer reviews
I really do like Jeanette Winterson and have read several of her novels, all of which have been very good. Books like Sexing the Cherry, Oranges are not the Only Fruit, Passion and Gut Symmetries were well written, insightful, truly unique and well constructed stories told in a bold, clear & decisive voice.
This book, however. is an unfortunate mess. I hate giving authors I truly like such a lousy rating, but in this case it's unavoidable.
One of the blurbs on the book cover speaks to a "writer writing about something terribly important", which may in fact be the case, if only one could figure out just what it is. It's really a shame as the concept is intriguing-the execution is the problem.
Winterson is a master of the use of language, usually leaving the reader painting vivid-though often very unsettling-mental pictures to accompany the text. Here however the text is so dense, the characterizations so obscure, the thought process so complex that one can-and often does-- read and reread a passage several time, still emerging with no real idea what is going on.
Everyone has a bad day now and then-and with this effort, Winterson has definitely had hers. This is truly an author worth reading but this effort should be skipped.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Read with highlighter in hand July 18 2001
Thank you, Ms Winterson, for this beautiful journey. It is truly extraordinary when a writer reaches into my past and puts words to emotions I've never spoken aloud. Art & Lies, while intensely personal, is also oddly easy to share. I miss the characters, so I keep a highlighted copy on my desk and refer to it whenever I need to feel...anything. A treat for anyone who lives outside the lines.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Yawn... Feb. 7 2001
Rather than attempt to develop a plot, after delivering the initial hooks of characterization, Winterson proceeds to muddle around in their depressingly disorganized perspectives of modern life. The characters' only hope, it seems, is somehow finding a way to express themselves in their dire conditions, all of which have something to do with sex. If there were some way of expressing how contrived the bleakness of the world and the situations they encounter, how flat and boring the characters are, and how "random" the thought and phrase juxtapositions are... Well. I would. Alas, the only real way to experience this psychobabble is to pick it up for yourself. If you're miserable and looking for company, or a college student who has to read this for class, :kaff: pick it up.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Truth found in "Art & Lies" Aug. 2 2000
A friend gave "Art & Lies" to me saying that the book was "most definitely for me." It has become one of my favorite books.
Jeanette Winterson is by far one of these most imaginative and cutting-edge writers today. While most other young authors are jumping on bandwagons, Winterson is loudly beating her own drum.
"Art & Lies" is full of evocative langauge, sensual details, witty word-plays, and multi-dimensional characters. Moreover, Winterson is a "smart" writer. She touchs, steals, grabs, and nods to classic and modern literature, music, and art without showing the least amount of effort or pretension.
I most highly recommend "Art & Lies" for someone who is looking for something completely different to read, who is tired of the same story-lines on the best-seller lists, and who is willing to take the plunge into Winterson's beautifully fragmented word.
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"There's no such thing as autobiography, there's only art and lies." -Jeanette Winterson
A train goes careening down the tracks, carrying several passengers with catchy names: Handel, Picasso, and Sapho. Another surfaces, Ms. Doll Snodpiece, who also has a train connection to these three. These characters' lives all intersect as the story wends it way along to its smashing conclusion. This author is extremely talented, and has characteristically set the work in a fresh new way. It contains some mesmerizingly beautiful prose, which is also characteristic of this author. Also typical is the strong character development, and the bits of philosophy and wisdom inherent in the story.
It is difficult to admit, because this wonderful author and her books have dazzled me in the past, but this work lost its momentum about halfway through. It took a long time to find the wherewithal to finish this book but, to quote my friend Angie: "it redeemed itself in the end." Other books she has written have dazzled me much more, however. Recommended -- but please consider: Written on the Body, The Passion, and Sexing the Cherry by the same author, which are all MUCH better books.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Complicated calculating musings June 23 2000
Two of Jeannette Winterson's books have changed my life. I am absolutely moved to tears when I read "The Passion" or "Written on the Body". While "Art and Lies" (great title) isn't a horror, I didn't really like it. It was a highly clever, very cerebral book, but if felt cold and iconoclastic to me. It had some very good musings though, and she is such a skillful writer that I'll try and read this book again (not any time soon though) and see if I just didn't "get it".
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5.0 out of 5 stars ... Into Something Rich & Strange Feb. 14 2000
By A Customer
As the subtitle suggests, this novel hinges on a metaphor of four-part musical harmony. Like music, it does not need to be "about" anything. (If you need a complex and sophisticated plot to hold your interest, this book is not for you.) Each character has a story, no doubt, but what matters is what emotions their lives evoke. Winterson uses her considerable command of metaphor, history, symbolism, and all things bizarre to portray the emotional lives of three very different characters. This is as it should be, for detailed accounts of their lives would ruin the book. It would instead be just the sad and rather ordinary story of a madwoman, a lonely old doctor, and a sleepless poet. Instead, Winterson has used key events of her characters' lives as a framework on which to craft something rich and strange.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars You Can't Read This One Just Once!
I am compelled to say that Art and Lies is by far the most inspiring book I have read by an author of our day. To give this book justice, one must read it more than once. Read more
Published on Jan. 7 2000 by Kwan-Yin
5.0 out of 5 stars Construction of self, and the symbiosis of language and sex.
A stream of consciousness type novel that follows the musings and reflections of three characters on a train in the future: Handel, a plastic surgeon who is at odds between his... Read more
Published on Sept. 8 1999 by mp
5.0 out of 5 stars An Anti-Cautionary Note
I have read with interest other readers' reviews of "Art & Lies," and must respond to one posted on January 24, '97, by "a reader. Read more
Published on Jan. 1 1999 by
5.0 out of 5 stars This is my Bible
I've read all of Jeanette's books, including her two screenplays, her book of essays, her comic book, and collection of short stories. Read more
Published on Dec 1 1998
4.0 out of 5 stars A little Complicated, but You'll get it.
THis book is a little complicated in the beginning, but once you stay with it, you won't be able to put it down. You'll want to dog-ear pages and highlight pages as I did. Read more
Published on June 20 1998
1.0 out of 5 stars your time, save your money
Nearly ten years ago Jeanette Winterson wrote a brilliant book-"The Passion". Ever since, she's completely lost the plot. Is the language beautiful? Read more
Published on Dec 23 1997
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